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This resource provides members of Congress with the research and data behind the need for greater federal investment in quality early childhood education, as well as the policy and political opportunities for a robust federal partnership to support early learning and care. Download the Toolkit, as well the accompanying State Fact Sheets to access key facts, talking points, and more. This resource can also help you identify local engagement opportunities in your community.

The overwhelming evidence and research demonstrate that high-quality early learning and care is a crucial component of a child’s healthy development. Children from low-income families who receive a high-quality early childhood education are proven to be more likely to earn higher wages, live healthier lives, avoid incarceration, raise stronger families, and contribute to society. That’s why, as research shows, for every dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education, society gains up to $11 in economic returns over
the long-term. What’s more, voters see quality early childhood education as a necessity for today’s families and want the federal government to work together to find ways to support the care and education of children from birth through age five. According to FFYF’s 2018 national poll, 89 percent of voters support making quality early childhood education more affordable for working families.

Like voters, Congress has long seen early learning and care as an important issue, and recent bipartisan actions demonstrate Members’ commitment to this issue. These include:

Historic $2.37 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program in FY2018.
Steady increase in funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and IDEA Preschool Grants over recent years.
Creation of the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG B-5) program, which is empowering 46 states and territories to improve and better align current early learning systems.

Access to high-quality care in a child’s first five years helps ensure they develop the skills necessary to do well in school, decreasing the need for costly interventions later in life.

  • Early learning and care increases high school graduation rates by 14 percent.
  • Preschool reduced the percentage of children repeating a grade by 15 percent.

High-quality early learning and care also has tremendous benefits to families and the economy.

  • Child care helps parents return to work and generate an additional $79,000 in lifetime earnings for mothers.
  • A lack of child care causes businesses to lose an estimated $4.4 billion annually due to employee absenteeism.

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